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rebuttals to "Gun Control"
United States Senator and Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told CNN's Jake Tapper Sunday that as President, he would "bring us to the middle" in the gun rights/"gun control" debate, thus overcoming the cultural divide on the issue. Well, great--but "middle" of what?
Apparently not the geographic middle. In something of an echo of President Obama's "what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne" comment about gun laws, Sanders told Tapper that "guns in Vermont are not the same thing as guns in Chicago, or guns in Los Angeles." But, like Obama, Sanders clearly supports federal "solutions" to violent, criminal use of guns--"solutions" that would treat guns in Vermont just the same as guns in Chicago and Los Angeles.
If Sanders' voting record is any indication (and what better indication could there be?), his idea of "middle" would require background checks on all gun sales. This would in a very real sense be an utter, outright ban on private sales--because no sane definition of the word "private" allows room for the sale to be contingent on the FBI looking through the prospective buyer's background (increasingly, even the buyer's medical background) before it can proceed.
That's a pretty extreme "middle" you've got there, Senator.
Sanders' idea of the "middle" would also ban semi-automatic, detachable magazine-fed rifles--popularly, if inaccurately, referred to as "assault weapons"--and the "high capacity" (gun ban zealot-speak for "standard capacity") magazines that feed them. This is the "middle"? Sending people to prison for buying the most popular class of centerfire rifles in America is his idea of respecting the rights of gun owners? Prison time for buying an 11-round magazine is the "compromise" he wants to sell us? Outlawing the most useful arms for defense of one's home, one's life, one's family, and one's liberty is part of the give-and-take he proposes?
So what do gun owners get in return for all of this? That some guns would still be allowed? For now? That the penalties for violation of these laws would not include capital punishment (for now)?
This would of course create a brand new "middle," one vastly closer than before to a total gun ban. Would anyone care to wager that soon after these laws took effect, some politicians--perhaps including Sanders himself--would not call them "a good first step"?
But even putting aside the slippery slope argument--and this is more of an oiled Teflon precipice--what we are talking about here is anti-gun extremism. How extreme is it? So much so that tens of thousands--perhaps hundreds of thousands--of "assault weapon" owners in Connecticut, and now in New York (two states not generally characterized as populated by militantly pro-gun folks) are willing to risk prison time for violating those states's "assault weapon" registration (not ban, but "merely" registration) laws.
Does Sanders really believe that nationwide compliance with the draconian laws he favors would be any greater? Perhaps--if he thinks he's found the "middle" of the gun debate, he is clearly capable of convincing himself of just about anything.
A former paratrooper, Kurt Hofmann was paralyzed in a car accident in 2002. The helplessness inherent to confinement to a wheelchair prompted him to explore armed self-defense, only to discover that Illinois denies that right, inspiring him to become active in gun rights advocacy. He also writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column. Kurt Hofmann Archive.